Real Magic Has Strong Emotions in It (and other real bits)

My grandmother sat at the foot of my bed. She wore her favorite black dress, and a bright red headscarf I had never seen. “That’s nice”, I said, pointing at the headscarf.” She never wore red while she was alive. “It suits you.”

She extended a hand towards me. There was something in it, but I couldn’t see what it was. I sat up in bed, to take a better look. It was a tiny bottle full of red petals. “You should wear it”, she said, smiling. “It suits you.”

I woke up sitting up in bed, looking for my grandmother. She wasn’t there. She has not been around in the flesh for many years. But I got out of bed and searched for the rose petals necklace I got from my friend Yvonne months ago. I wore it. It suits me.

Rose Petals, Lava Beads Pendant, and skull bracelet, by Melancholy and Menace

Emma, mistress of Groovy Gothic, sent me Birds of All Feathers, a children’s book that tells the tale of how a group of birds peacefully resist the “angry twittering twit of a villain [that] invades [their] peaceful apple tree”. She was going to get the book for herself, but since my sweet Emma knew that I was having a rather difficult time dealing with the Orange Infection spreading over the US, she thought the book would be perfect to cheer me up. It was.

Birds of All Feathers, written and illustrated by El Gato Gomez

Once upon a time there was a sheep that gobbled up a bunch of moon daisies that changed her forever. Her name is Mavis. And she has a wicked talkative friend named Stewie. They were crafted to life by my witchy sister, Gina Morley. As of a few days ago, they live with me. Yep, a sheep, a squirrel, and a witch in a New York City apartment. That sounds like a story, doesn’t it? Well, Mavis already has a story, which you can find on Gina’s blog. The package that brought Mavis and Stewie home carried other things—a sprig of rosemary, a perfect-for-me card, a wee spider, and a surprise that I won’t share with you. Some magics must be kept close to the heart.

Mavis and Stewie, by Gina Morley

I fell in love with the painting of a wild-haired warrior, enchanted by her fierce expression and by the fact that we both seem to go braless. When the artist, my friend Robin, learned of my love, she sent the warrior to me. I haven’t given her a proper home on my wall yet. I know where she belongs, but I want to place her there on the morning of the Vernal Equinox. It feels right, for I suspect she and I will start new things with the blooming of spring.

My fierce warrior, by Rasz Art Designs

If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you’ve already seen my Poem Bits—micro poetry and quotes handwritten on lined paper with the edges torn. Lately the tearing of edges has transferred to my blackout poems, too. The latter began as an accident. I was in a lot of pain… decided to blackout a poem to distract myself… the pain was making my hands shake so much that I ripped the previous blackout when I tried to turn the page. The accident saddened and angered me. But I did not allow it to ruin my day… or one of my favorite blackouts. So, I took a few breaths… made some tea… and proceeded to gently rip all the edges off. When I was done sipping and ripping, I took the teabags—emptied the used leaves—and used the paper to create a background for the blackout. I framed it. I love it.

“I am stories”, accidental mixed media yumminess, by Magaly Guerrero

Can you feel the magic in all of this? The power of believing in a dream? Or of giving to a friend something you love because you feel she needs it more? Or of giving fangs to daisies and a sheep because your friend’s little brother just died, and you want her to smile? Or of presenting a friend with a painted, fierce-faced, wild-haired, non-bra-wearing warrior who reminds you of her (and of you)? Or can you feel the magic that is born when a moment of sadness, anger and frustration is turned on its ugly head until the energy that feeds it becomes something positive you can use to feed yourself, a story you are happy to tell?

If you’ve felt any of the above, my Wicked Luvs, then you have felt magic—the kind of magic I believe in. Real magic feeds flesh and soul. It allows the body to move when pain says stop. It brews fierce smiles and tears. It reminds us we are not alone. It comes loaded with strong emotions, with friends, and other wonders. My real magic tells stories… Can you feel it?

Be One with the Hammer

The little bastard burst through the kitchen window, ax in hand, before evening tea. Shattered glass clinked against the sink, stovetop, and a hissing teakettle.

“Everything okay, Carlo?” my sister called from the den, where she had been discussing hammer meditation techniques with one of her friends and our next-door neighbor.

Before I could answer, the garden gnome pressed the blade of his ax to the side of my left knee. He grinned… with too many teeth… inches from my crotch… “Speak,” he said, “and my ax will kiss you lame.”

My lack of response must’ve worried my sister because she walked into the kitchen, followed by the other women.

“Isn’t he cute?” our neighbor said, extending a hand towards her gnome.

Unlike most readers of crappy horror might expect, everything didn’t happen too fast.

My sister’s voice sounded as if it was being filtered through marmalade, when she yelled, “Look at his teeth, you old batty.”

The old batty continued moving towards the gnome, disregarding the jagged teeth cramming his crimson mouth.

My sister and her friend reached for our neighbor, but before they could tackle her, the gnome had rushed forward and chopped her arm at the elbow.

I smacked the gnome on the side of the head with the teakettle. The hot water ruined the red of his cap, but did little for his bloodthirstiness.

The gnome turned to face me. I stepped back, bumped into the sink. He smiled. My hands were torn between protecting my most vital organ and grabbing a rolling pin.

My sister’s friend solved my dilemma—she pulled a sledgehammer out of who knows where, and smashed the gnome to bits, while chanting, “Be one with the hammer.”

Our neighbor lost one arm, but not her love for gnomes. “They’re cute little devils,” she said, when I suggested hammers and teakettles as alternative garden decorations.

a wee note…
– Linked to the Imaginary Garden with Real Toads ~ Title-Tale (Poetry and Flash Fiction with Magaly): I invited a bunch of Garden dwellers (yes, you and me too) to write a new 3-stanza poem or a very short story (of 313 words or fewer) inspired by 1 of 13 slightly strange book titles. I chose How to Survive a Garden Gnome Attack: Defend Yourself When the Lawn Warriors Strike (and They Will), by Chuck Sambuchino.